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Council and NHS consider merging into a single public authority

Scottish Borders Council has put forward plans for a single public authority in the region in a proposed submission to a local government review.

Ahead of the council’s meeting next week, a report said the proposals aim to drive a “step change in outcomes for the citizens and communities of the Scottish Borders.”

The proposal “advances a vision for a single service delivery vehicle, encompassing the council and NHS Borders in the first instance.”

If approved on Tuesday, the plans will be submitted to the Scottish Government and Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) as part of a local government review, which is to consider how powers, responsibilities and resources are shared across central and local government with communities.

The council argues that potential benefits would include following a common approach to service delivery, reduction in competition between different bodies, and better service and financial efficiency.

The proposals would be “a starting point for dialogue with Scottish Government and COSLA for what would represent a long-term project, but it sets out the nature and scale of local ambition.”

The council argues that increased integration and a single public authority “must be matched by an enhanced model of community engagement” if the local government review’s aim of “making sure local communities have more say about how public services in their area are run” is to be realised.


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